I know Joan Didion mostly by reputation. It’s a sterling reputation as both a literary figure and a literary journalist. My one direct experience with her writing is her memoir of the year after her husband died suddenly: The Year of Magical Thinking. It’s not the kind of writing that I love to do, but it is the kind of writing that makes you think, “My God, if I could write just one thing that good I would die fulfilled.”
The following observation comes from her essay, “Why I Write” that used the title from a George Orwell essay as a starting point.
“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”
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